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Thread: Super Series Kicks Off In Sibenik

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    Super Series Kicks Off In Sibenik


    The Super Series Fleet arrives in style to 1st stop in D-Marin Croatia
    Image © GEO Nexus


    (Wednesday 16th May, 2018) – The reigning 2017 52 SUPER SERIES champions Azzurra won last weekend's PalmaVela regatta in a very hotly contested ten-boat TP52 class that contained no fewer than seven brand new boats.

    The impressive form of defending champions was apparent throughout the seven races sailed. Azzurra topped the table with 21pts, four points up on Quantum Racing, which has Dean Barker steering, while World Champions Platoon – the only new Vrolijk design in Palma among the seven new boats – finished third.

    Azzurra won three races, Platoon won two, Hasso Plattner's debuting Phoenix, with Ed Baird on tactics, won one race, and Takashi Okura's Sled, which has Ray Davies as tactician won a race too.

    Winning PalmaVela can be an indicator of the shape of things to come. When last there was a crop of new build boats, in 2015, it was Azzurra who won the Palma curtain raiser in early May and went on to win the season. In 2016 Quantum Racing took the victory in Palma and took top honours for the circuit. But in 2015, Quantum Racing sailed their season with three alternating helms and did not hit their stride until the middle of the year.

    Azzurra had an advantage in terms of pre-season prep and training – they launched early in Valencia on March 14th and sailed there with a full team including new tactician Santiago Lange before training off Palma – but what was noticeable was that all of the Botin designs are almost identical except for a few small details. It was also obvious through the four days of racing that the 2018 fleet will be closer and tougher than ever. The differences in speed are smaller than ever and, especially, the edge that the top three teams had before is now negligible. Any team can win regattas and – from this standpoint – any one of six teams could win the 2018 season.




    all images martinez Studios/ 52 Super Series











    Quantum Racing sailed smart, Barker and the afterguard starting the boat well and positioning themselves well around the race course, compensating for their lack of time with the new boat. They only had two days of training before racing started. And by all accounts the new Platoon appeared to deliver what owner Harm-Müller Spreer had requested from the Vrolijk design office – better upwind speed and height. They had to re-start twice, and still finished third overall, making a second in the penultimate race after one such transgression.

    For Azzurra there is no room for complacency. They are working hard and several times stayed out late after racing to test new sails. Skipper-helm Guillermo Parada noted:

    "It was a very challenging week in tricky winds especially considering we were bringing Santi in, but he and Cole [Mariano Parada] did a good job picking the right sides. Our performance in the light airs was competitive. I think we cannot draw too many conclusions from here. The strong teams are still strong and it will be a long season. It is a relief for us that the decisions we made before and during the winter are all working and that we are not now having to reinvent the wheel. We had time after training in Valencia to build some racing sails and then use them here in these last days. The boat is going well."

    Considering that the new Quantum Racing was relatively late compared with their hopes and aspirations, they sailed well and pushed Azzurra at times. The match racing events that Terry Hutchinson, Dean Barker, Greg Gendell, Sean Clarkson and James Dagg have been doing have clearly served them well in terms of communication and boat on boat work. They raced the boat well and now only have to learn how to get the best from their new machine.













    James Lyne, Quantum Racing's 'uber' coach, comments:

    "I think the team's performance was very positive considering they had only a couple of days with the new boat before the first race and we are playing catch up compared with Azzurra, Sled and Phoenix, who have sailed more and are more sorted.

    We made progress and collected a lot of data. The key gains are to be made learning the upwind modes. We still are learning the trim and when to make the mode changes."

    Platoon's owner Müller-Spreer was especially happy with the new Platoon's upwind speed. They were second going into the final day but finished two places behind Quantum Racing in Sunday's one, and only race in light winds, dropping to third. Their tactician John Kostecki reported:

    "We are very happy to be here, and happy with the boat. We were late with the build, so the shore team did an amazing job to have us ready and able to do some sea trials and get through the regatta with no major problems. The boat seems really fast and if we sail well we can do very, very well. We are quick upwind and are about the same downwind. We have to keep learning; the boat, it is so different from the last boat. We just need to keep trying to improve before the first regatta."

    Takashi Okura's Sled finished fourth overall, finishing strongly with a 1,2,3. They were the first of the new boats to launch, sea trialling and training in New Zealand, where she was built by Core Builders Composites. New tactician Ray Davies affirms:

    "We are very pleased to have improved as the regatta went on, and to finish up with a second in the last race was great. The team is gelling well. We can keep improving our starts and tight situations with other boats, a lot of that is communication. We need to keep learning and refining the systems, these are now very complicated boats. We have some new sails coming. The boat is going really well."

    The two Plattner-family Phoenix boats had the benefit of the best part of ten days of two-boat training and testing before PalmaVela started and came out of the blocks showing some polish and a lot of promise. Hasso Plattner and daughter Tina Plattner will share the helming role over the season, each doing different regattas, and they have not ruled out both boats – the new 2018 Phoenix and the 2014 Phoenix – doing some regattas. The new Phoenix has an older rig, which was built for the other boat and the new rig is not expected until June.

    Tom Burnham off Phoenix says:

    "The thing is that the new boats are now so close. In past years when we saw a number of new boat launches, someone had an edge, but now the new Botins are pretty much the same, so it even comes down to the rig and sails."

    The two Phoenix teams worked up to the regatta with coach Ron Rosenberg but through the season they will be coached by Cameron Dunn.

    Following the breakdown of the initiative with Sir Ben Ainslie and the former Land Rover BAR team, Tony Langley's Gladiator sailed with Ado Stead as tactician, as a one off. They were strong in the first half of the regatta, but owner Langley was happy with progress, considering. Owner-driver Langley left the regatta commenting:

    "I always enjoy it and I think we are in reasonable shape. It took a bit of getting our mojo together. But this boat still has legs. We had good straight line speed. I am very happy with the boat. We are disappointed to say the least about the situation as it developed, but we are just trying to figure out where we go from here."

    Andy Soriano's Alegre showed bright spots of potential, finishing second in the first race, but tactician Andy Horton debriefed that they are still too much in the learning-their-new-boat phase to have been really competitive.

    "We learned a lot. The last race was the best we have sailed the new boat. All week we were changing, changing, changing, and finally found some good settings. We need more racing, more starting practice. We treated this as a training regatta and made a lot of progress. We have a lot of little things to do, we had a couple of little breakdowns, so there is a long list of things to do."

    The French team on Paprec Recyclage finished seventh, sailing with their new boat, the former Rán Racing. Skipper Stéphane Névé noted:

    "We are still learning in the new boat as there a lot of differences. We just got the boat on the Saturday before the regatta and so there is a lot to learn."

    At the same time as PalmaVela was getting under way, in Ancona, Italy the new-look Provezza was undergoing sea trials and was undoubtedly launched amidst a party atmosphere. Also sea-trialling and launching over these past few days were Luna Rossa – bow number 46 – in Trieste, Italy. The event attracted a lot of attention in Italy, and has only heightened the anticipation surrounding what will be the most competitive season in 52 SUPER SERIES history.

    2018 52 SUPER SERIES Calendar

    Sibenik 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week – May 23rd – 27th, Sibenik, Croatia
    52 SUPER SERIES Zadar Royal Cup – June 20th – 24th, Zadar, Croatia
    Rolex TP52 World Championship Cascais 2018 – July 17th – 21st, Cascais, Portugal
    Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week – August 21st – 25th, Mallorca, Spain
    52 SUPER SERIES Valencia Sailing Week – September 18th – 22nd, Valencia, Spain
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    Tied At Top After Day One In Croatia



    (Wednesday 23rd May, Sibenik) – From the high tension and great expectations that prevailed amongst the crews of the 12 TP52s, who contested an exciting first day of the 2018 52 SUPER SERIES, it is three-time champions, Quantum Racing who emerge with the tiniest possible lead at the Sibenik 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week in Croatia.

    With nine shiny, brand new boats competing on a race arena that is completely new to the 52 SUPER SERIES, the de-facto leading grand prix monohull circuit in the world, it was the Quantum Racing crew, marshalled by afterguard Terry Hutchinson; tactician, Dean Barker; and helm and navigator Ian Moore, that finish the day ahead, but only on countback by virtue of their victory in the second race of the day.

    It proved to be a dream start to the season for the Quantum-powered crews as Harm Müller-Spreer's Platoon mirrored their counterparts' score with a 1,4 to lie second – on the same points aggregate – and Brazilian Eduardo de Souza Ramos crew on Onda, the third team in the Quantum stable, lie third after a strong opening second and seventh places.












    The tactical key to the first race was recognising the wind shift generated on the right side of the course by the effect of an island upwind to the right of the course, and in the second race when there was a thunderstorm lurking out to the right of the course area there was a series of shifts totalling more than 50 degrees from the start.

    After the Race 1 start, World Champions Platoon took the lead on the first downwind, when early pacemakers Provezza appeared to suffer a technical problem with their kite halyard. Onda, with five-time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt as tactician, stuck to their pre-start game plan and benefited from their early choice to go right, moving up to second on the downwind behind Platoon. That was the order through the finish line but the last run witnessed several exciting place changes in the 8-10 knot seabreeze, and the finishes behind the runaway top two were some of the closest yet.

    Quantum Racing's was the sharpest start of the day when they leapt off the line in the second race, that allowed them to take early control of the right side and by the top mark they were sixty metres, or more, clear of second-placed Gladiator. Once more the top two were able to hold their positions through the finish line – Takashi Okura's Sled getting third with Platoon fourth.







    It proved to be a fascinating opening to the season. The surprise package were Onda who have made significant gains since finishing tenth at PalmaVela, but tactician Scheidt pointed out they had stuck with their game plans, but the hugely experienced Brazilians positioned their boat shrewdly, keeping away from the traffic and any tussles with the top teams. On successive first beats, XIO Hurakan, the Italian team lead by Tomasso Chieffi, were top four, only fading on the second round. So too Gladiator – with Morgan Larson as tactician – proved a new boat is not a pre-requisite to win a podium place. And right now race wins are shared evenly between the Botin (Quantum Racing) and the Vrolijlk (Platoon) design studios.

    Harm Müller-Spreer owner-driver of Platoon, emphasises.

    "The difference between the two designers' boats was greater last year. I know we are closer this year in terms of performance. You can win races with either boats. But this is such a long season it is hard to guess what will happen."

    James Lyne, the Quantum coach summarises:

    "The conditions were tough and both boats Quantum Racing and Platoon executed one race well. There were some big shifts and so Terry [Hutchinson, Quantum tactician] played that nicely in the second race," explains the Quantum team coach James Lyne. "The level is higher than ever. There are more coaches, there are more analysts, there are better sailors on board. The level keeps going up."

    Of the first day for Onda, Robert Scheidt, back in the TP52 class for the first time since 2010 said:

    "We had a plan. We stuck to our plan, and it worked. Sometimes you can be a little bit lucky and I think we got a nice shift on the first beat and that put us up the front at the top mark of the first race. If you can be in the top three at the first mark you can have your own race, you can use your speed and sail your own race."

    Circuit champions Azzurra, reckoned to be the best prepared team and winners of PalmaVela training regatta in early May did not have the start they wanted. Their opening third was strong enough but they were on the wrong side of the first big shift during the second race and could not recover, resulting in a weighty tenth. So too it was something of a baptism of fire for the Luna Rossa crew, which lies just one place ahead of their training partners Azzurra after a 7,5 start to their campaign.













    Regatta standings at the end of Day 1
    1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (4,1) 5 p.
    2. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4) 5 p.
    3. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (2,7) 9 p.
    4. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (7,5) 12 p.
    5. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (3,10) 13 p.
    6. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (10(+2 PEN PTS),2) 14 p.
    7. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (5,9) 14 p.

    8. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (8,6) 14 p.
    9. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (12,3) 15 p.
    10. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (9,8) 17 p.
    11. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (6,12) 18 p.
    12. XIO Hurakan (ITA) (Marco Serafini) (11,11) 22p.

    For full results, visit: http://bit.ly/2IGhEE1
    To watch the race again, visit http://bit.ly/2e6o3tR.

    The Sibenik 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week will take place from 23-27 May. State-of-the-art live boat tracking technology will allow 52 SUPER SERIES fans to follow their favourite teams. Shows start 15-minutes before racing, and can be enjoyed via the 52 SUPER SERIES homepage – www.52SUPERSERIES.com – or via the app. Never miss a beat.
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    Sled-ding To A Win




    Sled Cruise To Croatian Classic Coastal Win
    (Thursday 24th May, Sibenik) – After a beautifully scenic 30-nautical-mile coastal race tour of the islands off Sibenik, third place across the finish line sees reigning TP52 World Champions Platoon step up to lead the hotly contested first regatta of the 2018 52 SUPER SERIES season, the Sibenik 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week.

    While there was an extremely satisfying runaway victory for Takashi Okura's mainly Kiwi crew on Sled, a team now comprising almost all past or present Team New Zealand America's Cup sailors, it was the third place of Harm Müller-Spreer's team with rivals and team-mates Quantum Racing in eighth that now means the German-flagged crew lead by five points after eight races.

    Quantum Racing's long-standing love-hate relationship with the coastal race concept was in no way enhanced by today's outing. Picturesque it may have been but they were judged to be over the start line early and after re-crossing the line they were always trying to fight back along a track that did not have any real passing lanes.

    Their one divergent choice, staying right up the long beat – closer to the mainland shore – yielded no long-term profit. With many spirited boat on boat tussles going on ahead of them that was the best they could manage under the circumstances.




    Sled started well, dealt an early blow to Azzurra off the start line and from there were quickly able to control the right side of the short, 1.2 mile opening windward leg. By the top mark there was already an ominous look to their 60-metre lead over Jean Luc Petithuguenin's Paprec, which had also found themselves a nice, clean lane of breeze on the right.

    The jump made early on by this duo proved conclusive. Sled were over 600 metres clear of second by the turn at the top of the first island and something of a distant speck for the last placed chasers.

    There was a welcome measure of satisfaction for the Sled team that has worked diligently to a strategic programme that saw the boat beautifully built at Core Composites at 'home' in New Zealand, launched and sea trialled first of the nine new boats, and up to speed at PalmaVela. But for the passionate team on Paprec, second was like a win for them, ebullient owner Petithuguenin promising a few bottles of champagne for his team.

    "We are here to enjoy ourselves!" laughed the delighted French owner as he stepped on to the dock.






    Sled's winning tactician Team New Zealand's Ray Davies was a little more reserved:

    "The key was the start. We got a piece of Azzurra of the start line and then we were able to control the right hand side. And from there it was a leader's course. Everyone else was dicing with each other and we were just able to sail away. In these conditions it is relatively easy, sailing our own modes in clear air." 
He added, 
"We are thrilled with the win and the way it went today. It is a big boost for the team. We have all sailed a lot with each other so much before it is really working well."

    Platoon's Victor Marino was delighted with their steady gains on Platoon, typical of their step by step low risk strategy worked by John Kostekci and strategist Jordi Calafat.

    "We knew that it would be a very complicated, challenging race and we needed to be solid in every department, in the start, in the boat handling and everything. We got ourselves into a solid position in the middle of the fleet and then picked our time to attack step by step. The goal in this kind of racing is to stay safe and solid in each area and be able to take your opportunities as they come to you."

    There was little joy for the Quantum Racing team or indeed the reigning 52 SUPER SERIES champions, Azzurra, though both might be disappointed for different reasons. Azzurra were fourth, overlapped with Gladiator at the first top mark but faded to cross the finish in 10th. Quantum Racing looked to have rallied on the long beat, staying right – towards the mainland shore – but it appeared that the breeze continued to lift inside them. But at least they were making places, chipping away to eighth.

    Quantum Racing still lie second overall but are five points behind Platoon while the Quantum trifecta remains intact with Eduardo de Souza Ramos's Onda still holding on to third, just one point behind Quantum Racing. Tactician Robert Scheidt explained:

    "Today it was a bit like we were trying to hold off the boats behind and we had some really challenging moments, but I think the crew is coming together really nicely in the last few days so we're really happy to get fifth. We still need to improve a lot, but since Palma, which was our first regatta, we've made a big step, we're already more confident to sail boat-on-boat situations, we had a good start today, and we're changing gears better than we were before but still a long way to go."



    Wednesday's Racing Highlights




    Standings after three races:

    1. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4,3) 8 p.
    2. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (4,1,8) 13 p.
    3. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (2,7,5) 14 p.
    4. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (12,3,1) 16 p.
    5. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (5,9,4) 18 p.
    6. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (6,12,2) 20 p.
    7. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (10(+2 PEN),2,7) 21 p.
    8. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (7,5,9) 21 p.
    9. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (3,10,10) 23 p.
    10. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (9,8,6) 23 p.
    11. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (8,6,11) 25 p.
    12. XIO Hurakan (ITA) (Marco Serafini) (11,11,12) 34 p.
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    Young Guns Take A Bullet




    Les Bleus In the Pink At Race Win, Leaders Quantum’s Last Run Blues for Hutchinson
    (Friday 25th May, Sibenik) – If the largely amateur French team on Paprec finished the third racing day of the Šibenik 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week in raptures after a well earned victory, the hard driving Terry Hutchinson, skipper and tactician of Quantum Racing may take some satisfaction that they now top the regatta standings but he mood was more one of frustration to have lost two boats down the final run of the second race.

    The French proved that their second in the coastal race was no fluke. They lead off the pin end of the line, around the top mark and kept cool and composed to earn their first race win on the world’s leading monohull grand prix circuit in more than a year. For a team on which only the two full time boat crew are paid directly to race their win was truly special, particularly since it is now three years since they brought on board a crop of new young sailors such as 2102 Youth World Championship runners up and 470 Junior World Champions Guillaume Pirouelle and Valentin Sapin from Le Havre.

    Sapin, who raced in the Youth America’s Cup in Bermuda, is calling tactics on the ‘new’ Paprec which was previously Rán Racing. Their win in a 2015 Vrolijk design to some extent counters the belief that you need a latest generation boat to win races in this white hot 12 boat class. The team is drawn from all different generations and disciplines, including Figaro racer Jean Charles Monet as navigator, young match racers and Olympic class racers turned Tour Voile starts Pirouelle and Sapin who joined the crew in Porto Cervo in 2015.






    “That was my first win with the boat.” Sapin stressed, “ We made a good start and the guys stayed very focused on the speed and the manoeuvres and we were able to hold on to defend our place. We had a plan and it was a good plan. As a team we have young sailors from all disciplines. We are all still amateurs in that we don’t get paid to race here. I sail on the Diam 24 with Guillaume (Pirouelle) but we have young match racers, we have guys from the different projects and take the best of them.”

    After a disappointing eighth in the coastal race Thursday the Quantum Racing on the bounceback were at their most potent. Hutchinson, Dean Barker and navigator Ian Moore engineered another good start but it was their timing, when to cross from the left to the right side of the upwind track, which gave them the top mark lead which they were able to hold out to win Race 4 ahead of Andy Soriano’s Alegre. Azzurra were also back on their game after two back to back 10th places, finishing third.

    But it was letting both Azzurra and Sled slide through on the final run, dropping from second to fourth, which meant Hutchinson returned to the dock at Šibenik’s D Marin Mandalina marina less than content.

    “It was disappointing to lose the two boats down the last run of the second race but overall a solid day. It was a way better day than yesterday and we met the goal for the day. There is plenty of racing still to go. The mood this morning was pretty good. We took back two hard fought points yesterday and it would have been easy to be completely last. The mood was that a lesser team would have gone backwards.”





    In their quest to learn their new boat and how to set it up best Hutchinson admits that, like most teams, they are still climbing a steep learning curve:

    “We are still learning a lot every day about the boat. We are not even half way there. It is about how the rig fits the sails, how we use the adjustments to get the rig through the range. That is the key. And a lot of that is trial and error still. We do have a really good debrief system. The numbers help. But right now we are way more aggressive in the afternoon debriefs with the speed team than we have been in the past. We spend a lot of time talking about the boat’s performance, way more than we have done in the past. We will do a session tonight and then a session tomorrow morning.”

    Quantum Racing lead by two points from Platoon. Harm Müller Spreer’s crew had a middling day with a 5,7 to Quantum’s 5pts aggregate for the day. Onda’s 10th in the second race to Sled’s fourth sees the two locked on the same points.

    Regatta standings after five races:
    1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (4,1,8,1,4) 18 p.
    2. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4,3,5,7) 20 p.
    3. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (12,3,1,8,3) 27 p.
    4. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (2,7,5,3,10) 27 p.
    5. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (3,10,10,4,2) 29 p.
    6. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (6,12,2,12,1) 33 p.
    7. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (9,8,6,2,8) 33 p.
    8. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (7,5,9,9,5) 35 p.
    9. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (5,9,4,7,12) 37 p.
    10. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (8,6,11,6,6) 37 p.
    11. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (10(+2 PEN),2,7,11,9) 41 p.
    12. XIO Hurakan (ITA) (Marco Serafini) (11,11,12,10,11) 55 p.

    Quotes:
    Santiago Lange (ARG) Azzurra (ITA/ARG):

    We have not started so well but now luckily we managed to put a good day together. We still need to learn how to coordinate together but it’s fun, it’s a really good team and it’s good for me to be in a team at this level.

    On replacing Vasco:

    “That’s our challenge, I think the last two days we made a couple of mistakes on that. The team is used to a strong personality that leads very strongly, and obviously I respect a lot the knowledge the guys on board have on this type of boat that I don’t have. So it takes some time for them to stand up and take some decisions and for me to be calm in the boat and take my decisions so obviously these different approaches to racing take some time and I’m happy that today we managed to sail better.”


    Ray Davies (NZL) tactician Sled:

    “We are going really well, the boat’s going well, our speed is good. As always it’s hard to get off the line in this fleet, all the teams are starting incredibly well and that’s so important when the wind isn’t shifting too much. We had a disastrous start on the first race today but managed to claw back. That was probably our better race in the sense of gaining points after the gun and ending up third.”

    On integration with the team:

    “I know all the guys really well so that’s been really easy to work with, there’s only a couple that I haven’t sailed with before so that’s been a pretty natural transition. And I find Mr. Okura really easy to work with, he’s got a fantastic understanding of the sport, he’s done 470 sailing when he was young so he’s got a very good natural feel.”


    On the 52 SUPER SERIES:

    “It’s always a tough class but this season in particular is tougher than ever. There’s no better standard of yachting at the moment in keelboat sailing, so it’s nice to stay involved and keep yachting at the top level!”

    For full results, visit: http://bit.ly/2IGhEE1
    To watch the race again, visit http://bit.ly/2e6o3tR.

    The Sibenik 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week will take place from 23-27 May. State-of-the-art live boat tracking technology will allow 52 SUPER SERIES fans to follow their favourite teams. Shows start 15-minutes before racing, and can be enjoyed via the 52 SUPER SERIES homepage – www.52SUPERSERIES.com – or via the app. Never miss a beat.
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    Lightning, Tina Plattner Rumble Through At Zadar


    Lighting Rumbles through the race area, cancelling racing for the day.




    Luna Rossa Stand Firm, Platoon Applying the Pressure
    (Thursday 21st June, Zadar) – Tina Plattner won her first 52 SUPER SERIES race today steering Phoenix and Takashi Okura and crew on Sled triumphed for the second consecutive coastal race of this 2018 52 SUPER SERIES season but it is Luna Rossa which still lead the Zadar Royal Cup in Croatia. The Italian team which wear the Prada colours posted a solid fifth and third from a long, hot and challenging day of light winds to lie three points clear of an ominously consistent Platoon team.

    The pair of second places from Harm Müller-Spreer’s German flagged crew, the current world champions, were especially impressive for their steady, patient tactics in the light going, coupled to very good boat speed. Platoon’s one sticky moment was when they struggled to lay the first windward mark of the coastal race during a very busy, tight rounding.

    But under tactician John Kostecki and strategist Jordi Calafat Platoon made steady gains on the long second beat and on the following run to chase Sled across the finish line, going 2,2.

    “I think the key today really was patience and John and Jordi really did a great job in finding the best breeze. We are not always the most patient team but we did well today.” Smiled Platoon’s Pepe Ribes.















    Race 3 
Once again in the NW’ly light breeze there was no one side of course, set off Zadar town, which paid off. The early left was good but the right came in strong from half way up the first beat.

    With Ed Baird calling tactics Phoenix were clear ahead at the first windward mark and, as the pack tussled behind were able to sail through the finish line with a decent lead over Platoon which only just got the better of Quantum Racing.

    Of their first win in their first season on the 52 SUPER SERIES Tina Plattner said:

    “I am a little bit lost for words that we have done so well so quickly here, I have to thank the team for getting where we have got to. Everyone on the team is really upbeat and excited. For me it is going a lot better than I expected but it is very shifty and that makes it easier if you are not right up there immediately. But we are taking it a day at a time.”

    Race 4 
Sled repeated their coastal race success that they enjoyed last month in Šibenik when they triumphed on a long, slow and mentally exhausting marathon of a ‘short’ 20 miles coastal race. The breeze faded from eight to just five or six knots down the long run to the finish.

    Mr Okura’s Sled led early on the first, opening windward leeward circuit and were able to extend away and were never challenged thereafter. During the approach to the first windward mark Quantum Racing struck Platoon and lost their bowsprit but still managed to rescue seventh place on the water.

    Tactician Terry Hutchinson reflected on a bitter sweet kind of day for the Quantum Racing which lies seventh overall after four races:

    “It was disappointing to hit Platoon and break our prodder off but at that point if you said we were going to then pass four boats in the race I would have thought you are crazy. But we sailed a really good race from there. And we came off the water averaging a five. Doug kept us all nice and relaxed, at certain times things don’t click and then it is about how you react as a team.”

    Platoon took second behind Sled and with Luna Rossa third, the Italian team still lead the regatta by three points over Harm Müller Spreer’s world champions with Phoenix dropping to third.

    Standings after four races:
    1. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (1,2,5,3) 11 p.
    2. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (5,5,2,2) 14 p.
    3. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (3,7,1,6) 17 p.
    4. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (6,4,7,1) 18 p.
    5. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (11,3,4,5) 23 p.
    6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (2,9,9,4) 24 p.
    7. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (9,6,3,7) (2 penalti) 27 p.
    8. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,1,11,11) 30 p.
    9. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (4,10,10,9) 33 p.
    10. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (8,8,8,10) 34 p.
    11. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (10,11,6,8) 35 p.

    Quotes: 


    Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Luna Rossa (ITA):

    “We profited from the good work we did yesterday and are quite satisfied with the our results today considering it was a difficult day. It is important we still lead the fleet but it is now more open. We suffered like we expected to but we stayed cool, focused and patient, managing the situations well as they came to us.”

    Ray Davies (NZL) tactician Sled (USA):

    “Both coastal races we have had really good starts and they have set us up for the rest of the race and that was the case today again. Then it is relatively easy because the rest of the pack slows each other down. It was a very, very challenging race and Platoon really did sail exceptionally well and in the end we only just won. Every point is critical. We are thrilled with how it is going, our speed is good but this is like one design racing, all of the speeds are so similar that this is now about doing the basics really well, start well and stay out of trouble.”

    Tina Plattner (RSA) owner-driver Phoenix (RSA):

    “I am a little bit lost for words that we have done so well so quickly here, I have to thank the team for getting where we have got. Everyone on the team is really upbeat and excited. For me it is going a lot better than I expected but it is very shifty and that makes it easier if you are not right up there immediately. But we are taking it a day at a time.”

    Terry Hutchinson (USA) tactician Quantum Racing (USA):

    “It was disappointing to hit Platoon and break our prodder off but at that point if you said we were going to then pass four boats in the race I would have thought you are crazy. But we sailed a really good race from there. And we came off the water averaging a five. Doug kept us all nice and relaxed, at certain times things don’t click and then it is about how you react as a team.”

    For full results, visit: http://bit.ly/2JT5qN5
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    Champagne Is Served In Casicais



    Cascais Delivers Vintage Champagne on Day 1 of Rolex TP52 World Championship.
    (Tuesday 17th July, Cascais) – If the first two regattas of the 52 SUPER SERIES season in Croatia were tactical, cerebral and subtle; about moving up and down the gears through small wind variations, choosing the right side of the course and remaining consistent despite big shifts in wind direction; as the Rolex TP52 World Championship started today, Cascais exerted a welcomed reminder of the flip-side of the racing coin – solid winds, surfing waves and big moves that require slick, accomplished crew work. 

Croatia was exacting. It was the challenge of adapting to new venues. Cascais is an old friend who punishes mistakes, it is about executing perfectly on a totally familiar race course, one which everyone knows where – and when – they want to go, but only one or two boats can sail those premium fast lanes.










    With 17-28kts of typical NW’ly wind Races 1 and 2 of the Rolex TP52 World Championship Cascais 2018 were sailed in a building swell which, as ever, delivered downwind surfing gains that were as important as the choice of shift or wind pressure. Watching the most polished crews and the top drivers was instructive. And just as the conditions proved typical of what the TP52 fleet sailors have come to know and love about Cascais, so it is the two most seasoned and successful teams on the circuit that share the overall lead. Azzurra won the first race and took second in the next one, but Quantum Racing lead the title charge because their scoreline is the mirror image of Azzurra’s. With Dean Barker on the helm, Quantum Racing were second to their old rivals in the first race, and then won the second, and so are credited with the championship lead after Day 1, on countback only.

    Smiling broadly, Quantum Racing’s Terry Hutchinson confirmed:

    “That was champagne Cascais conditions. When the fleet committed to coming here, that is what we were looking for. It was a great way to start the regatta, but Azzurra sailed really, really well.”












    The Quantum Racing tactician added:

    “Today was about balancing the risk of racing hard, the risk in the manoeuvres you have to do. We were pretty aggressive gybing on the first run of the first race, and on the second run of the first race as well, when you are doing a lot of boat handling there comes risk. In the last race we gybed and the sheet went over the prod, we were over layline anyway, and so we did not have any more gybes to do. But you aggressively boat handle and in 30kts, then there is always the potential for it to go bad. We were just consistent, no big highs, no big lows.”

    Azzurra came off the start line and went early right with all the conviction, impetus and motivation of a team that has underperformed this season, starting here as 2017 circuit champions, but 25pts off season leaders Quantum Racing. They sailed immaculately, slick and smooth in their handling, and accurate in their laylines to win their first race of the season. Sled, one of the most consistent teams this season, saw their kite rip from luff to leech on the run and so dropped from fourth to eighth. 
But for Azzurra, and new tactician this season Santiago Lange, it was clearly good to finally chalk up a win and prove they have lost nothing of their Gaucho’s free thinking spirit in the breeze. In contrast it was a miserable start for Luna Rossa, which suffered an hydraulics failure and so had to sit out the first race.













    Santi Lange (ARG) tactician on Azzurra concluded:

    “Finally a win. Finally! I think that we put it all together better. The guys did a very good job sailing the boat, and we made no mistakes, like all the mistakes we did in Zadar, several times. And when you put it all together like that, the level of this team is high enough to win, for sure. Today it was key to the right and make no mistakes. It looks easy but any gybe – like gybing at the top mark – is a big manoeuvre for sure, and so it is not all about tactics, it is about sailing the boat really well and the guys did that today.”

    Sled led early in the second race that saw the breeze building up still more – over 25kts at some times – but they were rolled after the top mark. Azzurra benefited on the last run when Alegre wiped out and so took second and earned their share the championship lead. The two leaders already have five points of a cushion over Andy Soriano’s Alegre – two fourth places today – and Harm Müller-Spreer’s current world champions Platoon.

    Alegre’s Andy Horton observes:

    “The top two boats are pretty quick upwind, went to the correct side of the course, and didn’t have any majors, and I think that was pretty much it! We had a couple little things, but they didn’t have any mistakes that I saw.”

    The forecast for the coming days promises similar brisk conditions. Racing is streamed live every day from 15 minutes before the start at www.52SUPERSERIES.com and via the app.

    Rolex TP52 World Championship Cascais 2018 Standings:
    1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) 2,1 p.3
    2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto and Pablo Roemmers) 1,2 p.3
    3. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) 3,5, p.8
    4. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) 4,4 p. 8
    5. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) 8,3 p.11
    6. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) 6,7 p.13
    
7. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) 5,9 p.14

    8. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) 7,81 p.15
    9. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) DNF10, 6 p.16

    Andy Horton (USA) tactician Alegre (GBR):

    “It’s the first day the whole fleet has been in any wind the whole year, so the whole fleet’s just trying to figure out how to setup the boats, they’re all new boats, so it’s funny that we’re here at the Worlds and have never sailed in over 16 knots yet in the year! Our speed loop did a good job figuring it out, we went through the J3, J4, A2+, A4, sails that sometimes we don’t see very often. It was kind of the standard race course that you see here in Cascais, a race to the right hand side, but today it was so windy that the mountain made a pretty big hole on the right. You could go off the line in 20-22 knots and look up and have 12 knots in front of you in the right hand corner, and you had to figure out how to bail out of there or to go into it further. Always trying to be as far right as you dare.”


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    Quantum Wins In Manual Mode



    Back to Basics: “Seat-of-the-Pants” Coastal Race Win for Quantum Racing
    (Thursday 19th July, Cascais) – Quantum Racing won the exciting, interesting Coastal Race off Cascais, Portugal, to extend their lead at the Rolex TP52 World Championship to seven points with four scheduled races left to sail.

    While the five-time world title winners delivered an accomplished victory – never far enough ahead of the pack to relax even for a moment – they had to rely on “seat-of-the-pants”, intuitive sailing skills for much of the course.

    After their electronics shut down entirely at the first leeward turn – less than 30-minutes into the three-hours-and-20-minutes 20-nautical-miles course upwind to Cabo Raso followed by a long strategic run and a sting-in-the-tail-finish in the bay at Cascais – helm Dean Barker and the Quantum Racing crew were forced to rely on their natural feel for the boat.











    “We lost our instruments at the first bottom mark, and so we sailed virtually the whole race with no instruments. That was interesting. That made life a little more challenging than it needed to be,” Quantum Racing helm Barker revealed, “The guys did a great job then just keeping the boat going fast and dealing with a ‘zero information’ situation. It was back to seat of the pants stuff. But it is amazing that because you sail the boat so much you do develop a very good feeling for how it is going. I think we did a good job preserving that little bit of lead we had.”

    If the 52 SUPER SERIES coastal races have come under fire lately, Cascais actually delivered a course that included between 40 and 45 tacks and gybes over its length, including an engaging passage up the shore closing up to Cabo Raso followed by a long run back in the direction of Lisbon, during which there were gains and losses to be made.

    Royal Cup winners Luna Rossa’s rollercoaster world title challenge hit another downwards slope when they snagged a rope on the long upwind and dropped from fifth to ninth. But credit to Vasco Vascotto, Francesco Bruni, Jimmy Spithill and crew who yet again showed their fighting spirit, battling back to fifth.

    While Alegre made another neat start at the port end of the start line, Phoenix and Luna Rossa inshore and poised to head early for the preferred right side of the upwind, it proved to be a more open track early in the upwind because of the lighter breeze. The key was achieving the best layline in the right hand, lifting wind and it was Ian Moore and the Quantum Racing afterguard who seemed to nail it best, leading in to the first top mark ahead of Alegre.












    With Ed Baird calling tactics for owner-driver Hasso Plattner, Phoenix made good gains on a close, exciting tacking spell up the shore towards the cape, when the gain was to be had in the shore. And so at the top turn of the course, Quantum Racing led Phoenix, which had got the better of the scrapping pair of Sled and Alegre.

    On the downwind, Sled found a vein of sustained extra wind-pressure offshore, which allowed them to erode nearly 100 metres of Quantum Racing’s lead. But Phoenix then positioned themselves better, to windward on the upwind to the finish and Plattner’s crew were able to hold on to second, ahead of a photo finish for third, which went Sled’s way by a matter of less than two metres.

    Quantum Racing lead on 11pts after four races. With Alegre fourth today, and Azzurra sixth it is still the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES champions that hold second overall, but now tied on points with Andy Soriano’s Alegre, which has so far been pleasingly consistent with 4,4,5,1,4 to ensure this is their best regatta of the season yet, as it is also Azzurra’s. Meanwhile, 2017 Rolex TP52 World Champions Platoon are in eighth after finishing ninth, but redemption of sorts is within reach as they are only six points off fifth. For the last two days of racing, the winds are due to build again to produce an enthralling climax to this world championship.

    Dean Barker concluded:

    “We are moving back into stronger breeze for the last couple of days and we are looking forward to that as we feel quite comfortable in the breeze. We are trying to keep progressively sailing better and better.”

    Rolex TP52 World Championship Cascais 2018 Standings:

    1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (2,1,3,4,1) 11 p.
    2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto and Pablo Roemmers) (1,2,2,7,6) 18 p.
    3. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (4,4,5,1,4) 18 p.
    4. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (8,3,7,2,3) 23 p.
    5. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (10DNF, 6,1,3,5) 25 p.
    6. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (5,9,4,5,7) 30 p.
    7. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (6,7,8,8,2) 31 p.
    8. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (3,5,6,6,9) (2 penalty) 31 p.
    9. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (7,8,9,9,8) 41 p.













    Quotes

    Dean Barker (NZL) helm Quantum Racing (USA):

    “It was a challenging race with a lot going on. It was never over. We started in a lot less breeze than any of the teams expected, I think, and then the long second beat was really technical. And then run back down to the downwind mark, and then even the beat back to the finish. It was never really over. There was never a dull moment.”

    Andy Horton (USA) tactician Alegre:

    “It was anything other than boring. At the top and the bottom of the race course there was less breeze, and in the middle more breeze. There was lots of action along the coastline. I lost count of how many tacks we did.

    We are disappointed to have lost a couple of boats, but any day we open our eyes and get a fourth place, then we are happy with that for a daily average.

    We are getting better every day. Identifying our weaknesses was one thing and then working on them is the next thing and so for example, an Indian – which is a type of kite set – we worked on that; take downs, we worked on that; every day we work on something. There is a lot of racing left in this regatta and this season.”
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    A Ferocious Friday In Cascais




    No Such Thing as A Comfort Zone As Rolex TP52 World Championship Reaches Finale

    (Friday 20th July, Cascais) – Quantum Racing carry a seven-point lead into the final day of the Rolex TP52 World Championship off Cascais, to all intents and purposes a relatively healthy margin, even with the expectation of two breezy last races for a nine-boat fleet.

    But Terry Hutchinson, the US-flagged five-time world champions’ hard-driving leader reaffirms, once again, that no margin can be considered secure, particularly given the strong-breeze, big-wave conditions, and the strength and depth of the competition.

    “No lead is comfortable. Never.” Emphasises Hutchinson, strongly. “We need to go out and apply the same focus and determination. We were two points off the lead going into the last race [of the Rolex TP52 World Championship 2017] and so the memory is still there of what we need to do and how we need to execute. We don’t need to change our game plan and how we are sailing. The guys have the boat going really well, and so it is a matter of making sure that our boat handling is consistent and we hike like there is no tomorrow!”


    all images © carlo borlenghi







    With the NW’ly breeze building to gust close to 30kts, there were big gains and losses made over one of the most exhilarating days of racing for the TP52 class in recent years. Quantum Racing retuned a six-point aggregate for the day, going 5,1 from the racecourse, as did the Roemmers’ family’s Azzurra, sailing 1,5.

    Best scoreline today was that of owner-driver Takashi Okura, and the Sled team, whose 2,3 scoring included the outcome of a spectacular five-place – from eighth to third – 300-metre gain on the first run of the second race.

    In the first race, it was Azzurra that exploited the pin end favour to break up the early left and establish a very healthy lead around the first windward mark ahead of Sled. Luna Rossa made consistent gains during the race, rising from fifth to third.

    The NW’ly wind was at a brisk 22-23kts on the start line for the second race. With Quantum Racing’s Dean Barker showing considerable skill and poise to hold onto a very slender lane off the line, sandwiched between Luna Rossa and Platoon, which they then turned into an advantage as the fleet later tacked onto port, and Quantum Racing gained leverage as the leftmost boat. Quantum Racing led Luna Rossa around the top mark with Provezza third.

    Platoon, by gybing early and going down the left of the run, made a huge gain to actually lead very narrowly through the leeward gate, making more than 150 metres back on Quantum Racing. But Quantum Racing chose the right hand mark, looking upwind, and were able to get to Platoon and punish them with a series of tacks as the pair converged progressively with the starboard tack lay line.












    Quantum Racing took the win, their third of this Rolex TP5 World Championship, with Platoon second and Sled just nipping across the finish ahead of the fast charging Luna Rossa. With two races scheduled Saturday, Quantum Racing lead into the final day with a seven-point lead over Azzurra, with Sled in third, 11pts behind the leader, and presently on course for their third consecutive podium at the three regattas so for of the 2018 52 SUPER SERIES.

    Rolex TP52 World Championship Cascais 2018 Standings:

    1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (2,1,3,4,1,5,1) 17 p
    2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto and Pablo Roemmers) (1,2,2,7,6,1,5) 24 p.
    3. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (8,3,7,2,3,2,3) 28 p.
    4. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (10DNF, 6,1,3,5,3,4) 32 p
    5. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (4,4,5,1,4,7,7) 32 p.
    6. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (5,9,4,5,7,4,6) 40 p.
    7. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (3,5,6,6,9,8,2) (2 penalti) 41 p.
    8. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (6,7,8,8,2,6,8) 45 p.
    9. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (7,8,9,9,8,10,10) 61 p.










    Quotes

    Ray Davies (NZL), Tactician Sled (USA):

    “A great day for us with a second and a third, so we’re stoked! Mr. Okura did a great job in very trying conditions, I think he was using all his strength to get the boat around the course today and he got rewarded for working extremely hard. We had an incredible comeback in the second race from last to 3rd, that’s been our race of the regatta, and to do it in 25knots, the team is very pleased… we’re pumped!

    It had been a pretty good trend that the first boat to tack onto port was in the top three, until the last race, when we were the first boat to tack onto port and we were last! So it was a more even racecourse today, big breeze, and the position of the racecourse evened it out a lot.”

    On the overall 2018 season:

    “We’re very pleased. To be just over halfway and be in 2nd place – it’s better than we expected! We’re still getting better, but we’re very happy with where we’re at. We’ve had some lucky breaks along the way and we know how things can change pretty quickly so we’ll just keep our processes going, good debriefs and we have a fantastic crew so we’re not wishing for anything, just have to keep the momentum going!”

    On Quantum Racing:

    “There is obviously a nice advantage to the pro driving. Deano is doing a nice job, certainly in these conditions, it’s very challenging. And we’re seeing a very polished team at the top of their game and their putting points on the fleet quite comfortably at the moment.”

    Philippe Presti, Coach Luna Rossa:

    How does the team approach a windy regatta differently than a light air one?

    To finish first, first you have to finish. That’s one. So you have to take care of all the gear, but also you have to push the boat a little bit harder. It’s more physical, obviously, and looks from afar like a Melges, but you have to realise that a 50-footer is pretty heavy! Today was a good day for us, we could have had a 2nd, but we made a slight mistake, but we are still pushing for the podium and we can make it happen.

    Do you focus on individual regattas, or the entire series?

    I’m not sure about the overall goals. For the big plan you have to ask Vasco!

    On on-board communication:

    It’s hard to communicate in breeze, without the comms system of the Cup you need to be smart with the words you use and to pass big amounts of information. The better we are, the less communication we have onboard.

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    Puerto Portals




    Puerto Portals, it’s “Press Play and Repeat”.
    (Friday 24th August, Puerto Portals) – The 2017 regatta on the Bay of Palma enjoyed the closest of finishes, this 2018 edition is shaping up for a repeat performance. Though they had their worst day of the regatta so far, returning a sixth and an eighth, Quantum Racing go into the final day of the Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week with a lead of four points ahead of long-time adversaries, Azzurra.

    Breathing down the necks of the Roemmers’ family team, Azzurra, are a posse of three crews: Luna Rossa, Platoon and Phoenix, which are all just one point behind. This regatta was close last year, two points separating the top three boats, and it is shaping up to deliver an equally close finish on Saturday on the Bay of Palma.

    After a deeply frustrating couple of days, during which they seemed to attract umpires’ red flags like moths to a flame, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon shrugged off their troubles and posted a really solid pair of third places, the best aggregate of the day, just when they needed it. They were even over the start line early in the first race but recovered very quickly to round the first top mark in third.






    Tactician John Kostekci explained some of the keys to their turnaround:

    “We made some big mistakes early in the week, but we’ve actually been sailing well, so we didn’t actually have to change too much. It seems like the boat is going well in the lighter air that we’ve been having the last few days, so we managed to avoid the penalties today and have a good result. Today we sailed well, there were some opportunities out there, especially the first beat of the first race. It was shifty, maybe we had a few breaks here and there but we sailed well also. The race course is tough and we have Jordi Calafat as our strategist who’s local and lived here his entire life. He says it’s a very unusual week, more like September/October weather that we’re having right now rather than August. So a lot of times he’s just like: ‘I don’t know, let’s just keep our heads out of the boat!’ It’s just one of those weeks.”

    It has been tough for the very competitive owner-driver Müller-Spreer, Kostecki revealing:

    “He’s quite upset, but we’re not surpised, the whole team. As a team we’ve been letting him down. We picked it up today, and he’s in good spirits, talking about next season. He’s been in this game forever and he’s a sailor, and I think he realises that we’re sailing against some of the top sailors in the world, so it’s all good.”

    So too, the Italian America’s Cup team Luna Rossa were slightly more consistent than their Thursday rollercoaster 9,1 when they became the first team to win back-to-back races in these hard-to-read sea breezes. Luna Rossa’s 1,6 today still reflects lost opportunities, according to tactician Vasco Vascotto, but the winners of this season’s Zadar Royal Cup have at least now given themselves a fighting chance of their second regatta title of the season.







    On their race win today, Vascotto commented:

    “This has been the first race that we’ve had a very good start and been faster than the other days. That allowed us to prove our performance. We’ve managed to do on the water just what we have said we want in our morning meetings. But in the second race I made a mistake. We will come back for it again tomorrow. Yesterday we had this very unlucky collision with Gladiator and it cost us eleven points. We’ve made plenty of mistakes throughout this week, but here we are, we are still in a place to try and win.”

    And just as things didn’t go Quantum Racing’s way today, neither did they for Tina Plattner’s Phoenix. At the very point they could have been closing their deficit on Quantum Racing, they came trailing in last in the first race of the day before a better mid-fleet fifth in the second race.

    But the odds are still with Quantum Racing, although charismatic owner-driver Doug DeVos emphasised:

    “We said coming in: ‘we hurt ourselves today, but we didn’t kill ourselves,’ and that’s exactly what it’s like in this fleet. After a good couple of days, something bad is going to come our way, and this is what it is. We certainly can’t afford to do the same thing again tomorrow. Any mistake that you make, the fleet gets punished.” 
DeVos adds: 
“It’s still open, and everyone’s still working their hardest. You just have to take a deep breath and try to relax, we’ve been sailing long enough to not get frustrated, but to just take a little time, to take a step back and say: ‘we’re still in first place, we’ve made it a little harder for ourselves, but let’s just stay focussed and not try to overreact.’”

    Regatta standings after seven races:
    1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (2,4,2,5,2,6,8) 29 p.
    2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) (6,5,1,6,4,9,2) 33 p.
    3. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (7,2,6,9 Penalty 2,1,1,6) 34 p
    4. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,10,8,2,7,3,3) 34 p.
    5. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (5,3,4,4,3,10,5) 34 p.
    6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andy Soriano) (3,6,3,8,8,2,9) 39 p.
    7. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (8,9,5,1,10,8,1) 42 p.
    8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (4,1,7,10,6,7,10) 45 p.
    9. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (9,8,DNF11,3,9,4,4) 48 p.
    10. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (10,7,9,7,5,5,7) 50 p.

    For full results, visit: http://bit.ly/2MznlZR
    To watch the race again, visit http://bit.ly/2e6o3tR.
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